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Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP)

Landfill Gas Energy Benefits Calculator

The LFG Energy Benefits Calculator can be used to estimate direct, avoided and total greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, as well as environmental and energy benefits, for a landfill gas (LFG) energy project. For both electricity generation and direct-use projects, reductions of GHG emissions are derived from capturing and destroying landfill methane. GHGs are also reduced by the offset of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Electricity generation projects displace CO2 that would have otherwise been generated from fossil fuels burned at conventional power plants. For direct-use projects, the methane in LFG displaces fossil fuels and avoids CO2 that would have otherwise been released.

The LFG Energy Benefits Calculator expresses reductions of methane and CO2 in equivalent environmental and energy benefits. For example, the total 2020 benefits for a typical 3-megawatt electricity generation project using the national average AVERT value are approximately equal to any one of the following environmental benefits:

  • Carbon sequestered by more than 196,000 acres of U.S. forests in one year
  • CO2 emissions from more than 830 railcars' worth of coal burned
  • CO2 emissions from more than 17.0 million gallons of gasoline consumed

and are approximately equal to the following energy benefit:

  • Powering about 1,900 homes

The total 2020 benefits for a typical direct-use project using 1,000 standard cubic feet of LFG per minute are approximately equal to any one of the following environmental benefits:

  • Carbon sequestered by nearly 180,000 acres of U.S. forests in one year
  • CO2 emissions from more than 322,000 barrels of oil consumed
  • CO2 emissions from nearly 15.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed

and are approximately equal to the following energy benefit:

  • Heating about 3,900 homes

Download the 2020 LFG Energy Benefits Calculator (XLSX)(206 K)  

Excel files can be viewed with the Free Microsoft Excel Viewer.

The environmental equivalencies in LMOP's calculator reflect those in the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator on EPA's Energy and the Environment website.

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